How Facebook can ruin your relationship
We don't even talk anymore
We don't even know what we argue about
Don't even say I love you no more
Cause sayin' how we feel is no longer allowed
Some people work things out
And some just don't know how to change
-Water Runs Dry, Boyz II Men
Social media has effectively worked its way into many lives now, but the king of them all is Facebook. From all appearances, it would seem that no one discusses issues anymore, for every issue - relationship problems or ire, the world is privy to it via the status posts.
This phenomenon has even worked its way into many a marital relationship. With exes still popping up on platforms or friends seeking to take it to another level, threats abound aplenty on this platform. Family time has been sacrificed for its lures, and instead of meaningful one-on-one conversations, time is occupied with reading comments on the various posts.
In this, the final on the two-part series with Family and Religion, Pastor Joan Gumbs of How Ya Livin' Now said that if couples are not careful, social media, and in particular, Facebook, can place a wedge between them.
"You can get so addicted to social media that you spend more time checking out who is dating whom before spending time with your own date. Then you complain that there are no good men or women around when you find yourself alone," she noted.
AIRING ISSUES ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Another danger highlighted by Gumbs is the tendency many have to take their relationship issues to social media.
She said that it is a no-no to share personal details about your relationship on Facebook.
That, Gumbs said, is the fastest way for a break-up. Discussing what he did, how he/she dissed you, cheated on you is effectively closing the door for a sit-down conversation.
If he is sloppy, whatever the fault might be, she says that there is a time and a less open space for resolving the issue, and it is definitely not by inviting the world into your private affairs.
Gumbs said that another habit that can drive a wedge in the relationship is hooking up with exes on Facebook.
"If you are in a relationship, or if the ex is in another relationship, then leave that door closed. Hooking up with exes can lead to so many things ... and most aren't good," she said, adding that a lot of exes keep in touch with the hope there would be a reconciliation.
To keep the peace in the relationship, some partners remain off their significant other's pages, but then others get suspicious and upset if they send a friend request and it is not accepted.
Gumbs said that in this scenario, it has to be a mutual agreement.
"If your partner doesn't want to be Facebook friends with you, then you should respect his or her decision. Break-ups are hard, and no one wants to go through any. However, they do happen, and when they happen in public, they are even harder."
She said that the 'in a relationship with' works when you and your partner are getting on just fine. But women are especially emotional, and the minute something goes wrong, they change their status to 'It's complicated' or something to suggest that their relationship is in trouble. That, she said, can be emotionally devastating for their partner, which is one reason many men do not want to go on Facebook with them, she notes.
Gumbs also pointed out that the reason for not wanting to be friends on Facebook doesn't have to be a sinister one. It could be as simple as the person being private.
"Relationships are hard to maintain. No need to add social media fights to the equation," she said.
Gumbs said that Facebook is a wonderful social media tool for interacting with friends and family, especially those in foreign countries, but one should always be cognisant of the upheaval it can cause.
"It allows you to reconnect with primary school schoolmates, and you can catch up with friends you haven't seen since college days. However, if you are not careful, it can take over your life. Remember, at the end of the day, you are going to be the one alone after your spouse/partner has had enough and has decided to find someone else who will appreciate him or her and spend quality time together.